The personal blog of Alex Campbell, recording adventures in photography, culture, journalism and technology.
Marines at Work
These images are just a sample of images I took while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005 to 2010. The images date from 2006 to 2009, and are taken from such locales as Quantico, Va., Norfolk, Va., Rota, Spain, and Ubaydi, Iraq.
A Humvee, wet from the rain, sits on the side of the road while a thick Virginia fog rolls in. Taken in Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
A Marine from 1st Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Company (1st FAST) “fast-ropes” out of a Spanish navy UH-1 helicopter onto a building during an insertion exercise at Naval Station Rota, Spain.
A Marine says goodbye to Iraq as a government contract flight – his ride home – takes off from Al-Asad Air Base, Iraq.
Marine MRAP vehicles sit in the ready line before a movement in Ubaydi, Iraq. MRAP vehicles were designed to resist the effects of improvised explosive devices.
Marine LCpl Bailey engages targets with his with M-16 at a live-fire convoy range in Fort A.P. Hill, Va. Bailey’s M-16 has an attached M-203 – a breech-loaded 40mm grenade launcher. Taken in early 2007.
LCpl Matsuda sits in the driver seat of a HMMWV or “humvee” during a training exercise at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Va.
LCpl Sylva poses for a shot while atop a humvee during a training exercise at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Va. Revealing only his eyes, Sylva’s balaclava (ski mask) gives him a ninja-like appearance in this shot. Taken in early 2007.
Marines of 1st platoon, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines stand in the doorway of a Quonset hut at sunset in during a month of training exercises in Twentynine Palms, Calif. The training package, “Desert Viper” prepared the Marines and served as an assessment for deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) or Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). Taken June 2009.
In the back of a 7-ton truck, Marines ride back to camp after training at a make-believe town in Twentynine Palms, Calif.
Marines of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines load up their gear after training on the infamous range 410A at Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms, Calif. 410A is known for it’s size and the required coordination and endurance for Marine units to successfully “pass” the range. Taken in June 2009.
A Marine with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines walks down a burm after brushing his teeth in Twentynine Palms, Calif. the burms in Twentynine Palms simulated forward operating base (FOB) perimeters that are often seen on small outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taken in June 2009. Modifications made: brightness/contrast (to accentuate silhouette).
An armored 7-ton truck, or “Armadillo,” sits in the sun on a “contingency operating location” (forward operating base) in Ubyaydi, Western al-Anbar, Iraq. Taken August 2009.
Marines, soldiers and civilian contractors walk out to board a waiting CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, while a heavy-duty forklift scoots out of the way in Ubaydi, Iraq. Taken August 2009.
Marines of 1st FAST execute a “contact left” drill on the live fire convoy course at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. “Contact left” and other “contact” drills test Marines’ reactions to ambush and taking enemy fire, and requiring them to fight through the “ambush” or move out of contact, based on the nature of their movement. Taken in early 2007.
With spent brass resting on the hood, Marine LCpl “Tanks” Tanksley rests behind a M-240G 7.62mm machine gun atop a HMMWV after going through a live-fire convoy range at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. Taken in early 2007.
Marines showing off just how good “military intelligence” really is. This photo, taken at Fort A.P. Hill Va., was the inspiration for me to create a (de-)motivational poster.
LCpl “Tanks” Tanksley hovers near a smoldering fire during a cold morning at Fort AP Hill, Va. Taken in early 2007.
Marine LCpl Polhamus watches over the Marines of 1st FAST, 1st Platoon during a training operation in Quantico, Va. in December 2006. Smoke billows in the background as tires and brush burn, ignited by tracer rounds and the dry, cold conditions. Taken December 2006.
Another portrait of Josh Sweeney from Quantico, Va. The fires behind him are rubber tires ignited by tracer rounds. Though it was December, the ranges at Quantico were very dry in 2006, and any moisture was frozen, allowing fires to spring up almost every time a group of Marines went through the training lane. Taken in December 2006.
Marine Staff Sergeant Wooldridge, affectionately dubbed “Woolly Bear,” watches as FAST Marines board a SH-60 Seahawk helicopter for training in the art of fast-roping. Fast-roping (an activity) is not to be confused with FAST (a unit). Taken around April 2007.
Marine LCpl Dave “Moto” Miller waits for his turn to board the SH-60 Seahawk helicopter for a fast-roping exercise. Miller was in my FAST platoon in Norfolk. Taken around April 2007.
A Marine from 1st Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Company practices rappelling off a vertical surface while training in Rota, Spain. Image recovered from my DeviantArt gallery.